‘Queer Disbelief’ pairs atheists and LGBTQ communities as allies

Apr 13, 2018

By Kimberly Winston

(RNS) — American atheists and other nonbelievers have long acknowledged the debt they owe in their fight for equality to the gay and lesbian community, which began its struggle for the same in the 1960s (and in turn acknowledged its debt to African-Americans).

In her new book “Queer Disbelief: Why LGBTQ Equality Is an Atheist Issue,” queer activist and atheist Camille Beredjick calls for an alliance between those who do not believe in God and those who identify as LGBTQ based on their mutual goals of respect and acceptance.

She spoke with Religion News Service about why these two groups have more in common than they generally acknowledge and how they can work together. The following interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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One comment on “‘Queer Disbelief’ pairs atheists and LGBTQ communities as allies”

  • Richard Dawkins pretty much said this a decade ago. He recognised the struggles of a despised minority “coming out” and demanding an equality of tolerance and access to the boons of the state if not outright respect.

    Progress is slow for atheists in the US, much behind acceptance of gay folk but perhaps on a par with trans folk.

    The benefits may be within the two broad communities first. Believe it or not RDnet had a few atheist gay-intolerant members early on (they claimed their visceral distaste for gay sex was natural and therefore acceptable when reflected in the way tolerance was promoted.) Certainly there are religious gay folk who loathe atheism. The sense of disgust over these issues is entirely the result of childhood indoctrination against the other and not founded upon reason. Discovering the well-springs of intolerance by analogy with their own struggles can progress matters for these mirrored groups and give them the tools to access the greater communities of which they are at least half members.

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